It's just a kid's book!! Well, so are these.

I keep hearing people say this about the Harry Potter series, as if books for kids are automatically lesser, or something. So I want a list of really good books that are ostensibly for children, but are just as good (or even better) than “regular” literature.

I’ll start with Little Women and The Witch of Blackbird Pond.

The Chronicles of Narnia

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass.

Grimm’s Fairytales.

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (and Tom Sawyer).

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien1

Exquisite Corpse by Poppy Z Brite

Aesop’s Fables, Rudyard Kipling’s “The Jungle Books” and “Just So Stories”, Gene Stratton-Porter’s “Freckles”, Marshall Saunders’ "Beautiful Joe"Ursula K. LeGuin’s Earthsea trilogy, Madeleine L’Engle’s Wrinkle in Time series, Diane Duane’s So You Want to Be a Wizard series and the offshoots “Book of Night With Moon” and “To Visit the Queen”, not to mention the Norby the Robot series to name a few. I’m going to read Brian Jacques’ Redwall series someday too. Ah, mustn’t forget Eragon by Christopher Paolini, it was long, but the story was good. And I liked Mister Monday by Garth Nix too. I intend to read the next books in both those series.

At The Back of the North Wind, by George MacDonald.*

  • If I recall his name correctly.

Lord of the Flies

“My Pet Goat”

A Wrinkle In Time, A Wind In The Door and A Swiftly Tilting Planet by Madeline L’Engle.

The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman

Zev Steinhardt

All Roald Dahl’s books

Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell

Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech

Holes by Louis Sachar

The View From Saturday by E.L. Konigsburg

An Old Fashioned Girl by Louisa May Alcott

Hatchet by Gary Paulsen

Watership Down by Richard Adams

The Prydain Chronicles by Lloyd Alexander

My Lady and the other worthy posters have covered most of the titles that I’ve thought of, though I must add
The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper
Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley

I also wanted to share a few quotes attributed to C.S. Lewis that I try to keep in mind:

No book is really worth reading at age of ten which is not equally (and often far more) worth reading at the age of fifty–except, of course, books of information. The only imaginative works we ought to grow out of are those which it would have been better not to have read at all.

…a children’s story which is only enjoyed by children is a bad children’s story.

When I was ten, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed if I had been found doing so. Now that I am fifth, I read them openly. When I became a man, I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.

Those of us who are blamed when old for reading childish books were blamed when children for reading books too old for us. No reader worth his salt trots along in obedience to a time table.

All the Mary Poppins books by P.L. Travers.

Sing it! ITA.

The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster

The Tale of the Land of Green Ginger by Noel Langley

**A Secret Garden ** and A LIttle Princess by ??? (mind went blank on me)
Wolves of Willoughby Chase --ack! again with the no memory!

Julie of the Wolves and the rest of the series

Old Yeller

Last of the Mohicans

and and all Kipling

We could do this all day…

Frances Hodgson Burnett and Joan Aiken, respectively.
I’d say the Abhorsen trilogy by Garth Nix, Prydain by Lloyd Alexander, and Narnia by CS Lewis are the very top of the heap.

Though I’d like to wedge Diana Wynne Jones and the brilliant Robin McKinley in there somewhere. And His Dark Materials by Phillip Pullman is a good 'un.

And no forgetting EB White.

Incident at Hawk’s Hill by Allan W. Eckert

The Sara Summer by Mary Downing Hahn

The Maze at the Center of the Castle, but I can’t seem to find this book anywhere (even though I know I read it over a summer once) so I don’t know the author.

I’m using “kid’s books” to try and get my youthful-minded but not-into-reading boyfriend to expand his horizons a little bit.

For Valentine’s day he received:
The Giver by Lois Lowry
A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein

During a recent visit we were talking about something random and I linked the conversation to one of the books of the a Wrinkle in Time series… he’d never even heard of them. I scurried over to the bookshelf, grabbed a stack of three paperbacks, and plunked them in his hands to read on the plane ride home.

Good thing he has a long commute now. He’s at my mercy. rubs hands wickedly

Also, my ex’s favorite book is Interstellar Pig by the famous author Ms V is too damned lazy to Google.